Bars, watch parties and more: Where to watch the World Cup in the DC area

Starting Sunday, the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup begins. While the 28-day soccer tournament takes place over 6,800 miles away in Qatar, fans in the D.C. region will have a plethora of options available to watch matches and root for their national teams.

Due to the tournament’s popularity and adjusting for time zones (some games are scheduled to kick off as early as 5 a.m.), the D.C. Council passed an emergency measure to allow bars, restaurants and breweries in the District to stay open 24 hours a day during the tournament. Venues will be required to pause their alcohol service between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m.

“I think that you’re going to see an explosion of people showing up at bars en masse in the next couple of days as we approach the World Cup,” Jake Didinsky, vice president of D.C.’s American Outlaws chapter told WTOP.

American Outlaws bring game day attitude to DC bars

The American Outlaws are known as U.S. soccer’s largest fan group with over 30,000 members and over 200 chapters worldwide, according to its website. They are largely recognizable during U.S. matches with their pregame marches, banners and nonstop chanting and singing.

When it came time for this year’s World Cup events, Didinsky, who is also the D.C. chapter’s World Cup planning committee chair, said the organizing did not start until the U.S. men’s national team qualified for Qatar in March. Now, it has been “a sprint of a two-month period” to complete every last detail, including adding sponsors and confirming its partner bars, they said.

The goal this year was to have multiple options for fans to watch U.S. games and get the experience they want, Dindinsky said. For example, the chapter’s official bar — Astro Beer Hall at 1306 G St. NW — will be the rowdiest, featuring members of the supporters’ group banging drums and singing in the basement.

The other four overflow bars are the following:

  • Public Bar Live – 1214 18th St. NW
  • Franklin Hall –  248 Florida Ave. NW
  • Clubhouse Georgetown – 1070 Wisconsin Ave. NW
  • Penn Social – 801 E St. NW

Dindinsky advises any new or casual fans to arrive early (especially at Astro) and go to the bar that suits the experience they are looking for.

“There are going to be some people who want to go and have a more relaxed environment, there going to be some people that want to bring their families; there are going to be some people that want to have a raucous, screaming, singalong, chant kind of experience,” Dindinsky said. “So we really picked bars that would give a different kind of feel.”

While the American Outlaws are known to include the country’s more hardcore supporters, spaces will be made at each location for opposing fans as well. Everyone is invited to come but to be respectful toward each other, Dindinsky said.

“While you’re welcome as an opposing fan, just remember [to] please be respectful,” they said. “But this also goes for USA. fans. Like, don’t think because at the USA bar that if you’re acting a fool, we’re not 100% gonna kick you out.”

Those who attend viewing parties at any of the five locations will also have the chance to try out the chapter’s new beer from Sterling, Virginia-based Beltway Brewing Company called The Yanks. It will come in eight different collectible cans based on previous U.S. soccer kits and the chapter’s cherry blossom jersey.

Fans interested in reading more about the American Outlaws D.C. chapter’s plans can check out its official World Cup guide online.

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 26: Thousands of soccer fans gather in Dupont Circle park to watch the U.S. v Germany World Cup match June 26, 2014 in Washington, United States. The German Embassy in the United States provided two large-screen televisions for fans of both teams to watch the last game of the ‘Group of Death’ match. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Dupont Circle welcomes all for outdoor fun

Since 2010, soccer fans gathered in Dupont Circle Park to watch World Cup matches on large screens. This year’s tournament marks the fourth time Dupont Festival — the area’s nonprofit planning committee — has organized the “Soccer in the Circle” event, but this year, it received help from the Welsh government to help broadcast Monday’s Group B match between the U.S. and Wales.

“The seed was planted over a year ago, and then, as soon as the group stage teams were announced, we’re on the ground running with logistics and trying to figure out all the different complexities of programming in the middle of the nation’s capital,” Dupont Festival president Aaron DeNu told WTOP.

Monday’s watch party begins at 9 a.m., where fans will be greeted with Welsh cake and coffee while a DJ performs, leading into the Netherlands vs. Senegal match at 11 a.m. shown on multiple screens placed in the center of the park. As part of the festivities, souvenir seats from RFK Stadium will be raffled off while Welsh artist Ffion Pritchard and American Matt Malone plan to collaborate on a joint piece to mark the occasion.

Everything will build to the main event game between the U.S. and Wales at 2 p.m. Fans who are unable to go in person may see Dupont Circle Park highlighted as one of the country’s live fan zone during the Fox broadcast.

DeNu recommends using Metro and getting off at the Dupont Circle station. After arriving, head to the south entrance and walk past the Krispy Kreme toward the park. Unlike previous summer World Cup tournaments, fans should dress for a cooler outdoor sporting event to better handle the fall weather. The party will take place “rain or shine,” DeNu said.

Fans are encouraged to come at anytime, even if they can only attend for the U.S. match. For those looking for a way out of work, the Dupont Festival created a fake “doctor’s note” on its website, stating the patient is unable to attend work or school due to “fútbol fever.”

“I absolutely love watching football and in bars and restaurants and at my house, but there’s something really special about that shared experience and being able to do it in the middle of a national park, Dupont Circle National Park, we’re just super excited for it,” DeNu said.

People watch the U.S. play Ghana in the 2014 FIFA World Cup at an outdoor bar in Washington on June 16, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

Other D.C.-area locations to watch World Cup matches

World Cup Watch Parties at metrobar in Northeast D.C.

  • The outdoor bar, which features a repurposed Metro car, plans to host multiple World Cup Watch Parties during weekend matches including the tournament’s opener, Round of 16 matches and the quarterfinals.

Special World Cup hours at Guy Fieri’s Kitchen and Bar in Caesars Sportsbook at Capital One Arena

  • Starting Monday, the restaurant and sportsbook will open at 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. for World Cup matches. According to a release, special food and beverage options such as breakfast burgers, breakfast burritos and bloody marys have been added to the menu.

La Casita Pupuseria watch parties at various locations

  • The Salvadoran eatery’s locations in Gaithersburg and Northeast D.C. will open at 8 a.m. to show matches all day on projectors.
  • Will be offering an “Our 11” deal including two pupusas and one beer for $11 during all the games. The deal is limited to one per customer.

England matches shown at The Queen Vic British Pub

Croatian soccer watch parties in Georgetown

  • Clubhouse: Coffee & Cocktails will host two watch parties centered around the Croatian national team’s matches against Canada (Nov. 27 at 10 a.m.) and Belgium (Dec. 1 at 9 a.m.)
  • Tickets are $15 online and $20 at the door. A portion of the proceeds will go to Children’s Home Vrbina in Croatia. Children under 12 receive free entry.

Catch the Cup at Silver Branch Brewing in Silver Spring, Maryland 

  • Taproom hours will open at 11 a.m. for the group stage and 1 p.m. for the knockout rounds. All U.S. games will be shown as well.

World Cup Pop Up Party at SoFive Soccer Center in Columbia, Maryland

  • A World Cup-style pop-up for the whole family: Fans can watch matches on a 140-inch screen or in a bar area while children can play indoor soccer or participate in video game contests.
  • Before World Cup matches begin, the pop-up will offer pick-up games in SoFive’s indoor soccer pitch. There will also be soccer clinics and free play for younger players.
  • Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.
  • The pop-up will be live from Nov. 21-27 to show all 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. games, and on Nov. 29 for the U.S.’s last group stage match.

Watch U.S. matches at Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse

  • Watch all three group stage matches on a movie theater screen. First come, first served. Admission is free but reserving online allows eventgoers a chance to win prizes.

The World Pup party at Barkhaus bar in Alexandria, Virginia

  • Start the World Cup on Sunday, Nov. 20 with a “mini festival” geared toward dog owners and their pets. The event is free.
  • There will be a dog costume contest as well as giant soccer balls for dogs to play with. Food for dogs will be available at the Woofbowl Dog Food Truck as well as free puppuccinos. Humans will have access to food and drink specials.

“Larger than life” World Cup experience at the Clarendon Ballroom

  • Reserve a couch or table at the Virginia venue to watch either the 11 a.m. or 2 p.m. games on most matchdays. Arrive early for its pregame party with a DJ. Registered guests on Eventbrite will have access to drink specials.

World Cup matches projected in Inca Social in Virginia

José Umaña

José Umaña is a digital editor for WTOP. He’s been working as a journalist for almost a decade, covering local news, education and sports. His work has appeared in The Prince George’s Sentinel, The Montgomery Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel, PressBox and The Diamondback.

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